Their's is to be the perfect marriage. Newland Archer is worldly and wealthy. May Welland is beautiful and docile. But when the fascinating Countess Olenska returns from Europe, her independent air and her aura of responsiveness to life draw Archer to her and change his world forever.
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"Is it--in this world--vulgar to ask for more? To entreat a little wildness, a dark place or two in the soul?"--Katherine Mansfield "There is no woman in American literature as fascinating as the doomed Madame Olenska. . . . Traditionally, Henry James has always been placed slightly higher up the slope of Parnassus than Edith Wharton. But now that the prejudice against the female writer is on the wane, they look to be exactly what they are: giants, equals, the tutelary and benign gods of our American literature."--Gore Vidal "Will writers ever recover that peculiar blend of security and alertness which characterizes Mrs. Wharton and her tradition?"--E. M. ForsterFrom the Publisher:
A Norton Critical Edition. The editor, Candace Waid is an Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Book Description Penguin Audio, 1996. Audio Cassette. Book Condition: New. Abridged Edition. Penguin Audio 1996 Abridged Edition New/ In publisher's shink wrap. ReviewSomewhere in this book, Wharton observes that clever liars always come up with good stories to back up their fabrications, but that really clever liars don't bother to explain anything at all. This is the kind of insight that makes The Age of Innocence so indispensable. Wharton's story of the upper classes of Old New York, and Newland Archer's impossible love for the disgraced Countess Olenska, is a perfectly wrought about an era when upper-class culture in this country was still a mixture of American and European extracts, and when "society" had rules as rigid as any in history. ReviewNovel by Edith Wharton, published in 1920. The work presents a picture of upper-class New York society in the late 19th century. The story is presented as a kind of anthropological study of this society through references to the families and their activities as tribal. In the story Newland Archer, though engaged to May Welland, a beautiful and proper fellow member of elite society, is attracted to Ellen Olenska, a former member of their circle who has been living in Europe but who has left her husband under mysterious circumstances and returned to her family's New York milieu. May prevails by subtly adhering to the conventions of that world. The novel was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. Bookseller Inventory # 270577